The big-screen success of "Iron Man" was every bit the boon to Marvel Entertainment that one would expect, but the publisher anticipates a far less kind 2009. Variety reports that revenue generated by Iron Man's live-action debut raised Marvel's third-quarter earnings by almost 40 percent, and prompted the company to significantly increase its 2008 revenue predictions.
With no big-ticket films on the schedule for 2009, however, next year is another matter entirely.
Profits from Spider-Man merchandise are expected to continue sliding in 2009, and since the next Marvel-related films aren't hitting theaters until summer 2010 ("Iron Man 2" and "Thor"), the company recently announced that it expects only "modest" earnings in 2009. Analysts originally predicted Marvel's profits for 2009 would hit $617.8 million, but the company has now forecast earnings somewhere in the range of $415-460 million.
In contrast, analysts' initial predictions for the current year had Marvel accumulating $450-480 million in profits, but this year's film successes ("Iron Man" foremost among them) have boosted that number up to a more likely $640-670 million by the end of 2008.
What do you think about Marvel's film future? Do you wish Marvel spaced out their films differently so you had something else to look forward to in 2009? Let us know!